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What drummers can give?

posted on #1
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Following on from Drumshticks' excellent thread regarding the difficulties us drummers face with adding to templates that haven't used metronomes/guide drums, etc., I offer the following idea to those who don't work with clicks or struggle with them. But only on the caveat it's of genuine use to players out in Wikiloop land as it involves quite a lot of work from me and/or other drummers. But am happy to do it.

Would non-drummers be interested in a 'style library' of standard drum patterns they can draw on to use as reference time on their tracks? These are not drums for uploading with a loop but for inserting into a project to help them keep a stable reference time to record templates with? I realise that option does exist by just searching the loops for drum patterns but for whatever reason, be it wrong tempo info or the structure's wrong, I feel some players may not be using them or possibly feel obliged to work with the track as is and upload against that template.

I'm offering to record a series of, say, one-minute basic drum patterns in different styles and tempos where the tempo is known (therefore can be easily time-shifted by most software), are edited so they are easily placed back-to-back (or looped) and have no fills or structure - just a straight drum pattern with human feel (and drift!).

Off the top of my head, I could do a load of rhythms across up to three tempo ranges (70, 110 and 150bpm - far enough apart to be time shifted to all other bpms without sounding too gross) with count-ins. For example:

8th-note rock/pop beat
16th-note rick/pop beat
4th-note rock/pop beat
Half time variants of the above
Double-time variants of the above
Jazz patterns (and swingy back beat variants)
Latin patterns (samba, boss-nova)


This is to be a library for other instrumentalists to use to help them record. Not for uploading to the loops.

Is this of value or am I just defeating using the search feature of Wikiloops? OR trying to put EZDrummer out of business? Of course, other drummers are welcome to contribute!!

Edited by mpointon on January 19 2017 13:08
posted on #2
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this is a nice opportunity for those who usually don't record to a clic or for those who use a drum machine as a clic or even for those who use a simple clic with no feel at all ... this is a very generous offer to build such a library :D

in my musician opinion this can make a world of difference in a naked guitar or any other instrument template !
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #3
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I like the idea of a style library from a non-drummer perspective:)
I'm sure such a collection would be infinitely useful and appreciated!
posted on #4
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Extremely generous offer from Mpointon. As one who usually adds and doesn't post templates it's not that relevant to me (right now), but could certainly help others. Now for a contrarian point of view: (every site should have a contrarian!)

It's given that most popular forms of music have a strong and metronomic rhythm. I have to admit to having to struggle sometimes with some rhythmic accents/feels. Those can take some careful listening to ensure that those microsecond off beats are not ignored and plowed over. If the track is worth it (to me) I'll put in the time and try to work with the feel. Likewise I don't believe that every piece of music should be a slave to a metronome. Can you imagine Chopin played to a metronome? Music has no limits other than our imagination. I would hope that a piece that has a predictable flow and feel (but is not tied to a metronome) could attract a drummer/percussionist who has the wherewithal to hear value and adapt.

If I ever start posting templates I would not feel comfortable thinking I MUST conform to a precise rhythm. I do understand that may preclude any drummer form joining...and that's OK. Just giving a voice from the fringes.
posted on #5
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-Zamzam & the MellyOmatic-
posted on #6
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Please, Martin - put EZ Drummer out of business. :D This sounds like a great offer if not a laborious one.
posted on #7
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when reading Martins initial post, I had to smile a little bit, because what he is thinking about is actually describing what wikiloops was in its very, very first appearance.
I sat down with Mr.Baer at the end of 2010, and we recorded various styles at ten speed levels each.
None of those tracks had any fancy breaks, and often we ended up looping 4 or eight bars that were really tight on the spot. If you check the very early Baer contributions with IDs between 300 and 600, you can still find those tracks, which are in quite poor 128k mp3 format we used to guarantee for instant streaming back in 2010.
wikiloops used to be more practise-focused initially (the interface had buttons to skip to higher tempo versions of the same beat, too, which of course had to be recorded manually), but quickly moved on to becoming crazyly creative, and I have no complaints about that at all.

The Baer-tracks got buried in the database because few of them got many thumbs (there were just too few users around to get a lot of thumbs), but the BossaNova and Blues takes still do re-appear in remixes every now and then, which I find very nice, especially because I remember googling BossaNova grooves before starting to record that set, and Mr.Baer struggled a bit with the previously unknown groove :)

Now, excuse my slight excursion to the past, my conclusion concerning Martins proposal is a bit two-faced:
Of course I'd appreciate any kind of contributions in Martins excellent recording quality, but on the other hand, that "set" would need to be either seperated from the normal loops collection, or it is quite likely not to be spotted when needed.

On yet another side note: Me and Mr.Baer have been thinking to record another set of grooves for quite some time, too, but the apporach would be pretty much the opposite of Martins: I feel it might be interesting and also quite a good practise to have more grooves which are less focused on being click-tight, but focus on things a good drummer can do which a drummachine really can't.
I'm not advertising sloppy timings at all, but similar to what Wade said, I feel the skill to work with a drummer who dares to leave the click and create a little more tension every now and then is something which is worth working with.
MrAdamOndrums is really phantastic at that, and working with those slightly wicked grooves really taught me something.
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posted on #8
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I completely agree with your observations, Dick, and it has got me thinking that maybe I'm approaching it from entirely the wrong perspective (unsurprisingly). Your argument for more 'free flowing' drum templates is a sound and strong one and one that, ultimately, will probably have a far more dynamic and expressive range than something guided by a machine, no matter how good one is at working with a click. As I and others argued on the other thread, it is, in my experience, harder to add convincing drums to other instruments' free-flowing tracks but there is no reason why the other way round can't be easily accommodated: free-flowing drums for everyone else to work with because, after all, that's how it should be; the drummer conducts the band, so to speak.

I feel that my suggestion of offering 'precise' guide styles (which I'm willing to host on my Dropbox, by the way) is solely to give people creating a new template (without drums) a reliable time base to work with for others to add to (including drummers) knowing the time is [hopefully] consistent and predictable. The drum guides are not intended to be included with anyone's upload.

Your suggestion of free-flowing drum tracks belongs more as new templates on the Loops and something I should endeavour to do - take away my obsession with the click-crutch!! I certainly feel it would create a far more dynamic and expressive performance.

Am I making sense?
posted on #9
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dunno what your on about martin! I'm constantly amazed by you, dfd, and others, when you lay a drum track on AFTER the bass, vocal, guitars etc are already in place.....i suppose its not really that different too what the rest of us do...but somehow it being the timing part of a tune, it seems even more like witchcraft:)!
posted on #10
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My problem as a drummer is finding tracks without drums. A growing number of tracks being up loaded are not labeled as having drums in them. As for tempo drifting it's like playing live I'm just happy to get to jam with outstanding musicians and explore playing to new and different forms of music. Thank you don't stop.
posted on #11
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GBD, I completely agree with you and posted something on this in another thread. Many folks are posting drum machine tracks along with uploads w/o stating so. As a drummer I like to add to a guitar track/bass etc... Adding canned drums prevents me and others from joining a jam. Not to mention they sound like :o .......... :D :D ;)
Edited by rp3drums on January 24 2017 08:04
rp3 (Raymond)
posted on #12
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What drummers can give?
Musical feedback, musical adds.
Where to find a template?
Please go to the members profile page, click "tracks".
Now you get a list of available songs and you can see the involvef instruments.
Even better: use in "tracks"the option "Remixes". Now you can see e.g. "guitar, bass, harp". Your drum will be missing.
Third solution: Use the Personal Messager and ask for a track-ID where your help is urgently needed to complete a song project.
Just add your flavour and give private feedback if you fail. The same thing you would do in a rehearsal room together. You could mail for example, "please upload new version at bpm xyz".
posted on #13
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Neronick. I think the point was many tracks have drums but don't state that they do. So you cant separate out the drum track.... Best if people uploaded tracks w/o fake drums..IMHO. A drummers perspective.

One last important aspect of this. For a new member, who is a drummer...they may be put off if they see that all of the songs already have drums (sampled) on them. For me, I know how to navigate and find what i need to get, but for a new person it may not be so easy. Like I said in another thread, putting the HD track as the guitar only really isn't the solution, because the idea is to build songs together, not to inhibit creativity....
Edited by rp3drums on January 24 2017 10:34
rp3 (Raymond)
posted on #14
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@rp3drums & GBD - you are mentioning the issue of "track contains drums which are not labelled", which can be summarized as "mis-labelled tracks are annoying", that is not a drummers issue only, it applies to any instrument.

We are trying to raise awareness on that issue as much as possible, and I can only encourage anyone who experiences that moment of "oh, it said it was X-only but turned out to include the instrument I was wanting to add, too" to make a public comment about that in the comment field.
It does not need to be rude, people will understand what happened and hopefully try to avoid that next time around.
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posted on #15
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Good point Dick. Thanks for clarifying. I guess it is not only a drummer issue, but it seems many load a drum track along with their track. So we may just be more affected. But no, I will not be rude. B)
rp3 (Raymond)
posted on #16
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I think the issue is a bit more subtle. Speaking personally, I can't see much point in uploading a bass-only track so I'll upload a drums+bass track then add the solo bass as an HD part. I suppose I _could_ upload just the bass as the root then quickly add a remix with placeholder drums but quite honestly I'd prefer not to pollute my upload list with parts which are never meant to be listened to in isolation. Alternatively I could try to use a title like "My new track (available without drums)" but it seems to me that the real solution would be to allow the search engine to be able to look at the individual parts within an HD mix?

(BTW - I'm very happy to provide the solo bass parts on request for other mixes I've done in the unlikely event that anyone wants them to play along with one of them - just ask!)
Edited by GrooveEnth on January 25 2017 00:50
posted on #17
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Yes!! We need some basic groove drum tracks at different tempos to play along with instead of a click. Even just hi-hat and cymbals. Your regular click in software like Reaper is junk. There is no groove to it at all. Every time I play along to a click it sucks the life out of my playing. Looking for something with cut time or big time feel to it. - Slim
posted on #18
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"I think the issue is a bit more subtle. Speaking personally, I can't see much point in uploading a bass-only track so I'll upload a drums+bass track then add the solo bass as an HD part."

Not sure why you feel the need to do this. The most fun and creative way to build a song is to have people add to the tracks. This includes the drums. As a drummer I most likely bypass a song that has place-holder (sampled, loop) drums on it. I have no issue jamming with just a guitar/bass track... really that's how I grew up jamming! Best solution? Jam to a click (place-holder drum) track, but upload just your bass line with a count in ;) Then see if anything happens :Y
rp3 (Raymond)
posted on #19
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Slimdaver wrote:
Yes!! We need some basic groove drum tracks at different tempos to play along with instead of a click. Even just hi-hat and cymbals. Your regular click in software like Reaper is junk. There is no groove to it at all. Every time I play along to a click it sucks the life out of my playing. Looking for something with cut time or big time feel to it. - Slim

I am happy to read this! :)
Because it is a fact. A metronom can kill the soul of a song.
Don't know why but sometimes it is really a challenge to adjust the metronom...
This is my workflow: I play a nrw song freely. Write down some chords and voicing.
I lock the drum machine's tempo and use only style "metronome".
I adjust the tempo. Determine the genre and start trial-and-error selection of a template that fits.
Sometimes very easy. Sometimes difficult.
Than I start a software to write down the basic notation.
Start working to improve. When I can play everything I am mostly too tired to record it... :)
I simplified the workflow a little bit.
Sometimes I wonder that I need a shuffled 16th groove to fit.
I most cases it's helpful to see the notation of the beat on the screen and compare it with the audio I hear.
What I learned is songs are different. Some don't mind if you use 78 or 84 bpm. But on some you'll loose the spirit if your tempo is not exactly the right one and if you could not perform freely the slight tempo chances.
Of course, a good composition will sound good in machine-fixed tempo too. But I prefer to use a analog metronom sometimes. I even recorded this clicksamples and use them in the DAW. I am loosing my connections to heaven if I hear beep sounds in my earphones. Not to talk about the red-light-syndrom in an empty room...
posted on #20
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I have to agree with rp3drums here, GrooveEnth's reasons for posting no bass-only tracks are understandable, but have the immediate downside that -even if a drummer realizes there is a single bass track attached- any remix posted to such a template will display GrooveEnth on Drums and Bass + a drummer on second spot, so a bypassing listener will be wondering if he will hear two drummers on that tune (speaking of it, I recall seeing such a remix lately and wondering about just that).

GrooveEnths feeling of "a naked bass only track would not sound any good, I can't deliver that" is "wrong" in one regard, which is the assumption that there are no folks out there who would be able to build on top of that.
On wikiloops, there are! I really can only advise to have some trust in that, I really can't see anyone complaining about anything if someone posts such a single-instrument-track, and if it is recorded along some kind of later removed click and doesn't have evil tempo changes, you will find drummers to work on that. That is what we are here for, isn't it?

To rebuild the search engine and ideally let people find and piece together single tracks would be nice,
the downside to it would be that the upload process would become extremely time-taking and difficult:
Instead of entering the one track ID you remixed (which will import a lot of information from the parents track), all the information would need to be entered manually.
To stick to GrooveEnths initial example, I would have to enter the ID of the attached single track (which needs to be different from the mixed ID to provide this solution) and post my remix against that.
Since that ID is not available as a streamable mp3, the remix tree display would need to show the mixed mp3s ID as the parent track, while the instrument lineup would need to be gathered from the combination of "single tracks declared instrument"+added instrument.
Just imagine I added drums, but, for some reason felt the need to add some horn stabs as well to spice things up, thinking "I'll attach just the pure drums, so people can work with whatever they like.
If you were to post a remix against that, you would need to enter at least 2 IDs to make sure the track can be displayed correctly... with my experience in "how much time do people spend to declare uploads well", I can only say I have very strong doubts the average quick-uploader would use such a sophisticated system the way you and I might do.
The simplicity of the linear system of lining up remixes definetly wins here, and as we all agree, it is possible to use the existing system in a way that does not make any changes necessary.
To post the fake drums as an own first remix to ones single-bass-track is the way to go if one feels that needs to be offered to "explain" the bass part. If -as GrooveEnth says- such a track is not welcome to show up in ones own tracks-list (a feeling wich I do understand), one still has the chance to remove that track if it doesn't attract remixes, or if a drummer posted against the initial bass-only track.

@GrooveEnth : Hope you are not taking offense from anything I just said, none intended.

@Slimdaver :
I do agree to what you say, and since I forgot that when speaking about the Baer tracks earlier, I'd like to add that we also recorded very, very rudimentary shaker and cabassa tracks at many tempo levels, the two users involved in that are Rattlejake (shakers) and MrTighttime (cabassa), you may like to snoop around those profiles if you are looking for organic click replacements :)
Same as with the Baer tracks, those rudimentary things got lost in the "percussions" section, if we were to make a second attempt in offering click-track-replacements, we would probably be best advised to park those in a separate category.
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